Judge Henry L. Murphy interview with Tales of Cape Cod, June 29, 1978.
Judge Murphy was born in Hyannis in 1907. His father and brothers owned Murphy Brothers Bakery for over 40 years. Judge Murphy as a child started at 5:00 am in the bakery, then school and then back to the bakery in the late afternoon. The bakery delivered fresh baked goods each morning via horse and wagon. He remembers graduating from law school during the depression and finding it difficult to find work in Boston. He came back to the Cape a couple of years later to a Hyannis law partnership with Charles Payne. Judge Murphy was active in the town of Barnstable as Town Moderator for 13 years and 9 years on the School Committee. His family consists of four sons and two daughters. Two of his sons practice law in Barnstable. He was also Chairman of the Kennedy Memorial Committee that over a period of three years created the JFK Memorial on Ocean Street. The memorial cost $60,000 and during the first year the town collected over $3,000 in coins thrown into the memorial fountain. He attended Barnstable schools and remembers the elementary school had one big room for all grades and smaller rooms where you went to learn a particular subject. He remembers knowing Governor James Michael Curley who would visit the Cape in the summer. He also knew the Kennedy family. Judge Murphy recalls his experiences in the Training School (nine grades) on Ocean Street and his time at Barnstable High School. He recalls what it was like to experience Prohibition on the Cape. People would often find cases of liquor along the shoreline that had been thrown overboard by rum runners who were being chased by the Coast Guard. He also remembers drummers or tradesman that would visit the Cape and sell their wares. Judge Murphy also recalls the importance of the fishing industry to the Cape economy. He remembers seeing his first automobile on the Cape and seeing horses rear and be frightened and hearing people say that the automobile would never last.
The Tales of Cape Cod Oral History Collection is housed at the William Brewster Nickerson Archives in the Wilkens Library at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable, Massachusetts.
For more information about the collection, please contact the Nickerson Archives, http://www.nickersonarchives.org/.